Fitting the Pieces Together
Joshua Tielking loved jigsaw puzzles and at 6 years old, could complete puzzles with more than 500 pieces. The task of piecing together the tiny shapes, one that would exasperate many adults, was one of his favorite things to do. He also loved his family, especially his sister Rachel.
Josh passed away in 2010 from neuroblastoma, a cancer which is one of the more rare types of cancer in children. Josh’s godparents, and HMP supporters, Doug and Laura Fraedrich, wanted to do something to honor his memory. They created the Joshua E. Tielking Memorial Scholarship Fund. Josh was very intelligent and, despite his autism, his spirit shone through to touch those around him. “We see the same spirit in the children of Haiti and hope that we can provide the resources for some of them to achieve their potential, which Josh will not have the opportunity to do,” Laura writes.
Currently, only 1% of Haitians go to college. The fund will provide financial aid to individual Haitian children to support postsecondary education and/or vocational training. A member of the HMP board will be appointed as administrator and will oversee the Fund, review applications, and make scholarship grants.
For scholarship recipients, the fund will cover all school expenses, including tuition, room and board, books, uniforms, healthcare and other expenses as needed. The priest of St. Peter’s Church in Mirebalais, teachers and board members in Haiti and the US can submit grant applications on behalf of young adults who have successfully completed elementary or secondary education with the support of the HMP.
Josh’s parents sponsor a young girl in the HMP house in Mirebalais. Perhaps she will be able to grow up and realize the same dreams his family held for Josh. She might be able to use the scholarship fund to go to college and raise up her own community. Deepak Chopra wrote “there are no extra pieces in the universe.” Josh’s legacy will continue to bring many difficult pieces together, creating whole lives.